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How to choose a PR agency

With tough economic times set to continue, are you thinking about investing in a PR agency to help boost your profile, drive sales and fend off aggressive competitors? Before you take the plunge, make sure you’ve considered the following points when selecting an agency.

1. Turning the wheels of industry – Does the agency and the personnel working on your account have experience of your industry. Do they really know your market, how it works and how to make you stand out from the crowd?

2. Size really does matter – Is the agency big enough to handle your requirements but small enough to care? Do you know who’s looking after your account when you can’t see them?

3. Standing the test of time – Big names sound impressive but how long has the agency been with its clients and in what capacity has it been working with them? A short length of time and high client turnover may need further investigation.

4. Stand and deliver – Decide on a set of sensible targets and measures, so success or corrective actions can be identified and evaluated.

5. Focus on the road ahead – Agree a set of clear strategic aims from the start. There’s no point making a noise if your message is quickly forgotten, not reaching the right people or fails to contribute to your overall business strategy.

6. It’s a new world – The pen was mightier than the sword, but now the keyboard is king. Is the agency ahead of the game when it comes to SEO, Twitter, Facebook, and the like?

7. Lead by example – How proactive is the PR agency in creating news stories and ideas? Time waits for no man, so it shouldn’t be a waiting game.

8. Promises, promises – Promising the earth may win the account, but rarely meets expectations. Be realistic from the outset. It’s better for the agency to under promise and then over deliver, rather than leaving deflated and disappointed.

9. Wide load – As well as traditional PR, can the agency offer more? A wider marketing knowledge is essential if the agency is to deliver real strategic value.

10. All work and no play – At the end of the day, remember to keep things in perspective and find a team that you enjoy working with. Then work hard, but have great fun while you’re creating fantastic results.


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